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Are there actions that can be taken against a car dealership who knowingly sold a car with an illegal exhaust system. My 20-year-old daughter has been exposed to chronic carbon monoxide from an after market system with the flip valve right under her drivers seat. We had the car into a VW dealership for a timing belt/water pump change for annual maintenance and they did not apprise us of the illegal exhaust system either but after a long car trip of @6 hours my daughter experienced severe muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, dizziness. We have had two repair shops tell us she is being exposed to a high amount of CO from a flip valve under her drivers seat that is sticking open causing a leak as well as boosting acceleration. The dealership where we purchased the car told us on purchase that it had just passed inspection with flying colors but we are now told that there was no way that this car would have "legally" passed inspection because of the illegal catalytic converter system? Do we have any recourse?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patricia Algier , Owner at Valley Dealer Exchange Inc It is a federal offense for a licensed car dealer to sell a car without proper and legal exhaust. It is possible the smog shop the dealer dealt with may have overlooked the problem and passed the car but the dealer is still responsible if they sold you the car. Contact Bureau of Automotive Repair, Consumer Affairs and your local DMV investigation office and report the issue. They will also direct you better.Each State is different but the Federal government calls the shots for everyone. Patti

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd You should contact the Attorney Generals office in your state. Best of luck with this!

Patricia J Roberts, Director Business Development  at, Inc. Based on what you are describing, it would appear that you should consult with an attorney for legal counsel on any next steps. Regards, PJ Roberts

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) This depends on your State regulations. Contact the Attorney General's office in your state and see what consumer protection laws are in force regarding these type of sales.

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